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ACLU: America's friend or foe?

Posted Monday, September 17, 2007, at 8:58 PM

The American Civil Liberties Union arguably causes more division among Americans than any other institution in this nation.

I agree with their involvement in overturning segregated schools, ending state bans on integrated marriages and fighting government spying.

But the ACLU's views backing child pornography if no actual child is depicted and stretching freedom of speech to back neo-Nazi demonstrations are as wrong as wrong can be.

I personally disagree with their stance that "opposition to school-sponsored prayer is a bedrock principle for the American Civil Liberties Union," as their website says. As long as prayers aren't forced on students they don't hurt a thing.

Honestly, I'm not a big fan of the ACLU. Their basic premise -- working to guarantee freedom -- is good. They've managed to carry things too far, though. Even freedom can be abused.

Let the debate beginů


Comments
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[Show in chronological order instead]

ACLU: Can't live with em', can't live without em'....

-- Posted by nascarfanatic on Sat, Oct 13, 2007, at 10:28 PM

Very well stated Laura...

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Wed, Sep 19, 2007, at 7:15 PM

CharlotteGail, If you are going to tell me that the ACLU stopped children from bringing knives to school and stopped people from being "burned like witches" I say, "Thank GOD for the ACLU". You may not always agree with them but fact is, if you put the shoe on the other foot you will see the point of view. Do you want to bear witness to someone worship the devil? Do you want to be forced to partake in that worship? For some children that is what it is like to be a part of prayer.

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Wed, Sep 19, 2007, at 7:55 AM

Better yet, if she read the paper she would have noticed this article that states the same thing..

http://www.t-g.com/story/1277776.html

-- Posted by Vindicated on Tue, Sep 18, 2007, at 8:26 PM

Nathan, Carl tried to tell her that it wasn't founded on religious beliefs in his other blog titled "Separation of Church and State"...

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Tue, Sep 18, 2007, at 7:33 PM

America was founded on religious beliefs.

-- Posted by CharlotteGail on Tue, Sep 18, 2007, at 6:15 PM

This is not true.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Tue, Sep 18, 2007, at 7:28 PM

"The ACLU, while they do some good. The bad still outweighs good. America was founded on religious beliefs. Gays would have been burned as witches, while children who weren't praying in school would have been punished. When they took prayer out of school, they started alot of trouble. When I was a child we carried pocket knives to school and there was never any trouble. Now if a child takes a plastic knife to school they are expelled. The ACLU does nothing but cause trouble. One good deed a year doesn't change that fact. And that is my opinion."

-- Posted by CharlotteGail on Tue, Sep 18, 2007, at 6:15 PM

Thank God for the ACLU if these are the things you think should be left alone... That is insane, times have changed and peoples personal liberties are now more precious than ever. It is the very foundation like the ACLU that would defend your derogatory rhetoric, and protect your right to speak things like "gays being burned as witches"...

So ever since we have stopped burning people who are different than the status quo and prayer has (NOT BEEN TAKEN OUT OF SCHOOL) but is constitutionally protected so long as it is not required and/or obstructing others... What has gone wrong? Kid's aren't allowed to bring knives or weapons of any sort to school, and that was in place long before the ACLU ever existed... The ACLU does not cause trouble they simply keep yours, mine and all other's freedoms their most valued accomplishment. You'd be hard pressed to find another organization who protects both preachers and atheists..

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Tue, Sep 18, 2007, at 6:41 PM

The ACLU, while they do some good. The bad still outweighs good. America was founded on religious beliefs. Gays would have been burned as witches, while children who weren't praying in school would have been punished. When they took prayer out of school, they started alot of trouble. When I was a child we carried pocket knives to school and there was never any trouble. Now if a child takes a plastic knife to school they are expelled. The ACLU does nothing but cause trouble. One good deed a year doesn't change that fact. And that is my opinion.

-- Posted by MrsGailCL on Tue, Sep 18, 2007, at 6:15 PM

The loudest critics of the ACLU generally do not even know what the organization does.

-- Posted by volfanatic on Tue, Sep 18, 2007, at 9:59 AM

AMEN!

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Tue, Sep 18, 2007, at 1:10 PM

The way I see it, and this is just me. Most teachers will allow a "moment of silence" in the mornings. So long as it is not called a "morning prayer" or anything of the sort. I don't think anyone has said "you can't have a moment of silence" they just say you can't make students pray. However, you also can't make students stop praying. I never once had a teacher tell me that I couldn't pray, they said that I couldn't do so outloud. That makes sense to me.

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Tue, Sep 18, 2007, at 10:34 AM

The loudest critics of the ACLU generally do not even know what the organization does.

-- Posted by volfanatic on Tue, Sep 18, 2007, at 9:59 AM

"Amendment I to the Constitution of the United States of America: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Not hard to understand. Just because the founding fathers were Christians does not mean that they intended to create a Christian state and at some point it failed. The framers felt so strongly about this point that they made freedom of religion the very first right of the people.

"Congress should not establish a religion and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contrary to their conscience, or that one sect might obtain a pre-eminence, or two combined together, and establish a religion to which they would compel others to conform" (Madison, Annals of Congress, 1789).

"All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish [Muslim], appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit. I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise; they have the same right to their belief as I have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe. It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime. He takes up the profession of a priest for the sake of gain, and in order to qualify himself for that trade he begins with a perjury. Can we conceive anything more destructive to morality than this?" (Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason)

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Tue, Sep 18, 2007, at 8:40 AM

Bot's comment is hilarious. It is David Barton (who has no qualifications in historical scholarship) & his Wallbuilders who are rewriting American history, to insert spurious claims of Christian nationhood.

-- Posted by Hrafn on Tue, Sep 18, 2007, at 7:13 AM

The ACLU is trying to re-write our American history, so next generations think it was founded entirely on secular principles. That is not true. Please visit the following website to see how the Founders valued religion:

http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArt...

-- Posted by Bot on Tue, Sep 18, 2007, at 5:01 AM

No problem.. It's the usual hype surrounding the ACLU as being the "anti christian liberties union"

That statement couldn't be FURTHER from the truth. They understand that religion does NOT belong in school and it isn't up to teacher's or principal's to base teachings or classroom activities on something the CHURCH should be doing.

The ACLU, like I have said sooo many times, would be there for you, if you needed them... The have cleared and represented preachers, kid's wanting to do "christian" projects in their schools, and everything on polar opposite ends... Give the very group of people who are trying to save us from the religious right-wing government from running our country based on a bunch of ideology, (ALOT like Iran and Iraq, and North Korea) A BREAK!!!!!

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Mon, Sep 17, 2007, at 9:54 PM

Michael, the ACLU protects ALL religions as long as they are kept in places that are designed to be in..

Examples below:

Recent ACLU involvement in religious liberty cases include:

September 20, 2005: ACLU of New Jersey joins lawsuit supporting second-grader's right to sing ""Awesome God"" at a talent show.

August 4, 2005: ACLU helps free a New Mexico street preacher from prison.

May 25, 2005: ACLU sues Wisconsin prison on behalf of a Muslim woman who was forced to remove her headscarf in front of male guards and prisoners.

February 2005: ACLU of Pennsylvania successfully defends the right of an African American Evangelical church to occupy a church building purchased in a predominantly white parish.

December 22, 2004: ACLU of New Jersey successfully defends right of religious expression by jurors.

December 14, 2004: ACLU joins Pennsylvania parents in filing first-ever challenge to ""Intelligent Design"" instruction in public schools.

November 20, 2004: ACLU of Nevada supports free speech rights of evangelists to preach on the sidewalks of the strip in Las Vegas.

November 12, 2004: ACLU of Georgia files a lawsuit on behalf of parents challenging evolution disclaimers in science textbooks.

November 9, 2004: ACLU of Nevada defends a Mormon student who was suspended after wearing a T-shirt with a religious message to school.

August 11, 2004: ACLU of Nebraska defends church facing eviction by the city of Lincoln.

July 10, 2004: Indiana Civil Liberties Union defends the rights of a Baptist minister to preach his message on public streets.

June 9, 2004: ACLU of Nebraska files a lawsuit on behalf of a Muslim woman barred from a public pool because she refused to wear a swimsuit.

June 3, 2004: Under pressure from the ACLU of Virginia, officials agree not to prohibit baptisms on public property in Falmouth Waterside Park in Stafford County.

May 11, 2004: After ACLU of Michigan intervened on behalf of a Christian Valedictorian, a public high school agrees to stop censoring religious yearbook entries.

March 25, 2004: ACLU of Washington defends an Evangelical minister's right to preach on sidewalks.

February 21, 2003: ACLU of Massachusetts defends students punished for distributing candy canes with religious messages.

October 28, 2002: ACLU of Pennsylvania files discrimination lawsuit over denial of zoning permit for African American Baptist church.

July 11, 2002: ACLU supports right of Iowa students to distribute Christian literature at school.

April 17, 2002: In a victory for the Rev. Jerry Falwell and the ACLU of Virginia, a federal judge strikes down a provision of the Virginia Constitution that bans religious organizations from incorporating.

January 18, 2002: ACLU defends Christian church's right to run ""anti-Santa"" ads in Boston subways.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Mon, Sep 17, 2007, at 9:37 PM

I agree totally ,it seems that the ACLU thinks that they are the voice of liberty ,but in the process persecute Christians for what they believe.

-- Posted by michaelbell on Mon, Sep 17, 2007, at 9:32 PM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.